By Dayo Adesulu
The Education Rights Campaign ( ERC ) has taken to the streets in a peaceful protestÂ to express their support for the currentÂ struggleÂ ofÂ ASUU,Â NASUÂ Â and SSANU for adequate funding of Nigerian universities and improved working conditions for education workers.
Speaking at the Nigeria Labour Congress secretariat, Yaba on Monday, the National Coordinator, ERC, Mr. Hassan Taiwo Soweto said student representatives fromÂ universities across the nation areÂ marching against the plan of the government to increase tuition fee to N180, 000 in the universities.
â€œWe are embarking on protest to compel the Federal government to immediately sign and implement agreement reached with the striking unions so that students can resume academic work. We, Nigerian students, are tired of staying at home and we consider the federal government the party to blame in the current crisis, he said.â€
Stressing thatÂ if the demands of the striking unions are not immediately met so that students can resume, we shall hold the Yarâ€™Adua anti-poor government responsible for the losses incurred by Nigerian students.
According to Hassan, ERC is also using the opportunity to show solidarity with the primary and secondary school students in Kogi State who have lost almost an academic session to the Idris Ibrahim government.
â€œWe vehemently condemn the killing of a student on July 27, 2009 by theÂ police who were unleashed by the state government on the secondary students on protest march to call on government to meet the demands of their teachers so that they could go back to classrooms.
Governor Idris Ibrahim has refused to implement agreement reached with teachers in 2008 for salary increment (TSS), he saidâ€
Giving reasons why ERC is in support of ASUU, SSANU and NASUÂ in their current struggle to save public education from collapse Hassan said their demands are in consonance with the interests of ERC, students and ordinary Nigerians who cannot afford â€œcash and carry â€œ education.